Vegetables for a better life

Against all the odds, a group of gardening enthusiasts in Windhoek's Goreangab informal settlement are growing vegetables, fruit and decorative plants on the barren, rocky hillside.

19 April 2021 | Agriculture



Isaiah Shipingana (40) is a man with a passion for plants, agriculture, food security, sustainability and self-sufficiency.

In 2017 he started encouraging people around him in the Goreangab informal settlement outside Windhoek to start their own backyard gardens.

Today there are more than 15 zinc houses with their own gardens where spinach, beans, chilli peppers, green peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and maize are planted. Fruit trees such as guava, orange, mango and apple are also planted.

Shipingana's love for agriculture was cultivated at school in the Erakana settlement in the far north of the country.

"In Grade 9, I had an agriculture teacher from the Caprivi Region who had so much indigenous knowledge of agriculture and sowed the love for planting in me," he says.

He has always had a garden at his house.

“I am very passionate about my garden. When I am angry, tired or stressed I go to my garden. Plants like it when you talk to them and I sit in my garden and talk to them until I feel better.”

Success story

According to Shipingana, the Goreangab Backyard Gardening Project can do very well and bring change to the country.

"Look at what the people did in Goreangab. They themselves made a garden by digging up the rocky hillside with picks and filling in the trenches with soil. The water well is located on another hill about 150 metres away, but it does not stop anyone.

“I bring 34 drums with 25 litres of water to my garden every day. I recently bought a garden hose and it makes my life a lot easier, but many of the other gardeners still carry their water daily.”

Shipingana wrote letters to several people in the government and municipality and invited them to visit the project.

Taking the initiative

"If we can rent land from the government or municipality to plant gardens, we can become self-sufficient and promote food security; we can fight poverty, malnutrition and famine.

“We can provide jobs and combat gender-based violence. When people work on the fields all day long, they are too tired to even want to fight.

“People are frustrated; there is nothing to eat, there is nothing to do, there is just nothing. Give us land to rent and we can make a difference.”

More than a month later, he still has not received any response to his letters and invitations.

"Nobody even said they had received the invitation."

Green fingers

Joseph Nghivafe (40) also boasts a garden around his corrugated iron house.

"I watched Isaiah and decided it was something I could do too. I approached him and he helped and taught me. I ate an apple and decided to sow the seeds and now I have many apple trees in my yard.

“I also have other tree seedlings like papaya, guava, orange and moringa that I sell. I am not an educated man, Grade 8 is my last school year, but I can grow food and support my family," he said.

Hendrik Gabriel (33) not only plants vegetables but also flowers and shrubs because he likes plants.

"There are many young people here who can work and plant vegetables. We ask the government for land to be able to do that. We are not looking for land from here to Tsumeb; we are just looking for a few hectares.

“We can work the country and those who do not produce or work have to go and others can come in their place.

"I sell my vegetables to the people of the area at very cheap prices at night because they do not have a lot of money around here," Gabriel said.

"If we can do it on the rocky mountain without the right tools, imagine what we can do that if we are given the chance," Shipingana said.

Similar News


Farmworkers spent N$85 million in rural economy

1 day - 23 June 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKIt is estimated that commercial farmworkers spent at least N$85 million in the rural economy last year.The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) says it is...

Small-stock farmers can suffer huge losses from parasites

1 day - 23 June 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKSmall stock production in Namibia faces significant health challenges, mostly associated with parasite infestations, which can result in huge economic losses for farmers. The...

Understanding livestock licks and feed supplementation

1 day - 23 June 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKLivestock farming has become more expensive and one of the costliest factors is livestock feed and lick supplementation.Agribank’s technical advisor for livestock and rangeland,...

Green schemes badly managed

2 days ago - 22 June 2021 | Agriculture

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKA submission made to Cabinet indicates that Agribusdev did not properly manage the green schemes and that they were underperforming.Government...

Agri marked by insecurity to youth – Kauaria

3 days ago - 21 June 2021 | Agriculture

NAMPA RUNDUDeputy minister of higher education, training and innovation, Venomuinjo Kauaria, said the agricultural sector in Namibia is often marked by high...

Green scheme windfall for private sector

6 days ago - 18 June 2021 | Agriculture

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKGovernment is set to offer its green schemes to private-public partners as...

Calle reveals reasons for culling Agribusdev

1 week ago - 17 June 2021 | Agriculture

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEK Way forward: · Abolish Agribusdev ...

SA on track to harvest record soya bean crop

1 week ago - 16 June 2021 | Agriculture

ANNELIE COLEMANSOUTH AFRICAThe current spike in soya bean production is good news for South Africa since it will mean that significantly less of the commodity...

Making agriculture sexy again

1 week ago - 15 June 2021 | Agriculture

Mariselle StofbergThe Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) officially handed over the School Garden Funding Project (SGFP) at Auas Primary School in Windhoek on 9 June. Auas...

Agribusdev workers living in fear

1 week ago - 15 June 2021 | Agriculture

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKWorkers at the troubled parastatal mandated to manage the country’s green schemes...

Latest News

Ex-striking NBC employees fight for...

11 hours ago | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKDespite agreeing to the principle of ‘no work, no pay’ for their strike nearly two months ago, NBC employees who...

Working in the shadow of...

11 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES · Clinics turned into hospitals · Nurses...

Cape Verde to renationalise its...

11 hours ago | Economics

Cape Verde's government said Monday that it is taking over the national airline over concerns for its future, after selling a majority stake in 2019.Speaking...

Sudan eliminates customs exchange rate...

11 hours ago | Economics

Sudan has eliminated its customs exchange rate, used to calculate import duties, as the final step in a devaluation of its local currency, the finance...

Nigeria considers equity fund to...

11 hours ago | Economics

Nigeria is considering the set-up of a private equity fund as part of its effort to fight poverty in Africa's most populous nation and has...

EDITORIAL: Violence ranking expected

11 hours ago | Opinion

According to the 15th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), Namibia is the country where the experience of violence is the greatest worldwide.It said...

Shoprite, Dunnhumby renew partnership in...

11 hours ago | Business

Shoprite and Dunnhumby have announced the renewal of their partnership in Africa. Shoprite, the largest grocery retailer in Africa with over 500 stores and 20...

Heineken takes control of India's...

11 hours ago | Business

Heineken NV, the world's second largest beer maker, has taken control of India's largest brewer United Breweries Limited (UBL), cementing its position in a vast...

ECN ordered to avail spoilt...

11 hours ago | Politics

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUThe Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has been ordered by the electoral court to allow the All People’s Party (APP) access to the...

Load More